Category Archives: Urban

Lost in Venice – Progress Report III

In the past few weeks, we have completed filling in information and designed questions for all Venetian historic sites in on our list, as well as improved the functionality of the web game.

We have narrowed down the number of the Venetian historic sites on our list from 127 to 86 during our search for the information. On the original list that we extracted from TripAdvisor, some names appear more than once, some are not historical sites but events or modern architecture and some cannot be located in Google Street View, so we have removed names that we are not able to use in our web game. The information that we collect for each historic sites include its coordinate (longitude and latitude), viewpoint (pitch, heading and zoom) and brief introduction.

The most creativity demanding part of the project is designing a question for each site based on its history and other aspects. The questions are in the form of multiple choice and consist of two options, only one of which is the correct answer. The questions that we designed can be categorized into several types, such as architecture, art, historical facts, anecdotes and etc. The following are the examples of questions of different types.

(Campanile di San Marco) The belfry of the tower is topped by a cube, alternate faces of which show the female representation of Venice (la Giustizia) and the symbol of the city of Venice. What is the symbol of the city of Venice?
Option 1: The Merlion - a creature with a lion head and a body of a fish
Option 2: The Lion
Answer: The Lion of Saint Mark pictured in the form of a winged lion is the symbol of the city of Venice. The Merlion is the symbol of Singapore.

(Torre dell'Orologio) How many hours is in one period of the clock on St Mark's Clock Tower?
Option 1: 12 hours
Option 2: 24 hours
Answer: The great clock face in blue and gold inside a fixed circle of marble is engraved with the 24 hours of the day in Roman numerals. Therefore, the right answer is 24 hours.

(Rialto Bridge) The wooden bridge that was before on this spot collapsed for several times. The present stone single span bridge, similar to the wooden bridge it succeeded, designed by Antonio da Ponte, was finally completed in 1591. The engineering of the bridge was considered so audacious that architect Vincenzo Scamozzi predicted future ruin. Was the Vincenzo Scamozzi right in his predictions?
Option 1: Yes
Option 2: No
Answer: Despite the criticism the bridge has never collapsed.

Historical Fact
(Ca' Vendramin Calergi) How long did it take to complete construction of Ca' Vendramin Calergi?
Option 1: 48 years
Option 2: 28 years
Answer: Construction began in 1481 and was finished after his death by the Bottega dei Lombardo in 1509. The twenty-eight-year period it took to complete construction is considered short based on the technology available at that time.

Besides finishing filling in the information for all sites on our list, we also improved the functionality of the web game. Before posting the second blogpost, players can only read the information of the sites and also see the questions and answers, however, they were not able to submit their answers to the questions. Last week, we have added the function of submitting answers so that players will know if their answers are correct or not. When a player starts to play, a game session consisting of 5 sites begins; at the end of a session, the player will receive his/her score. The new interface of the web game is shown in Figure 1, 2 and 3. The link to the web game:

Figure 1: Interface with the information of the site shown


Figure 2: Interface with the question of the site shown


Figure 3: Interface with the answer of the site shown


In the following weeks, we plan to improve the visual appearance of the web game and also further improve the function of the web game. The motivation mechanism that we originally proposed for the game has not been realized yet, and it is also one of our future tasks.